WHAT do Avalon, Camelot and a tract of land just a few miles away from Peebles have in common?

Answer - they all have strong links to the legendary King Arthur.

After painstaking research a leading historian is convinced that the British warrior and hero came from Scotland - and he fought one his battles at Dreva, just a few miles west of Peebles.

Arthur’s life is shrouded in mystery and legend - some experts claim he never existed - while arguments have raged over the locations of his castle at Camelot and the island Avalon where he recovered from fight wounds.

He is thought to have lived in the 400s and 500s, a period for which reliable, consistent records are scant.

But Andrew Breeze, a philologist and Celticist, has unearthed evidence that proves there was a King Arthur and that he fought most of his major battles in the Borders.

Dr Breeze will reveal his findings, based on an account in a ninth-century chronicle, in a lecture at Glasgow University in July.

He told the Peeblesshire News: “The oldest historical description of Arthur is in a text called The History of the Britons. It lists nine places where Arthur won battles, and scholars have been trying to locate them for hundreds of years. The difficulty has been that the Celtic names of these places have been impossible to identify. But some are clearly in southern Scotland.

“Up till now historians and archaeologists have put the other battlefields in the rest of Britain, and made Arthur out as a Roman cavalry leader, fighting the Anglo-Saxon invaders up and down the country with a force of mobile horsemen.” Scrutiny of old maps and documents from Scotland and its border made it possible to put all the conflicts there - with one exception, he claimed. One of the battlesites was at a riverbank called Tryfrwyd which Dr Breeze believes is at Dreva in the Tweed Valley near Stobo.

Another is at Newmill, near Hawick. and five of the remaining seven are sprinkled around locations in the south of Scotland.

Just two of them are in England - at Wooler, Northumberland, and much further south at Braydon, near Swindon.

“The pattern that emerges from plotting these on the map is dramatic,” said Dr Breeze. “Like the clues of a detective story, they show that Arthur fought his battles in southern Scotland or just beyond in Northumberland except for Badon or Braydon.” “We can be quite sure now of Arthur’s nationality. He was not a Cornishman or a Welshman, but a brave fighting man of the Scottish Lowlands, who won victories at eight battlefields there.

“We can even feel sure which part of the Lowlands he came from. Arthur was not attacking the English, who had not reached Scotland by the early sixth century.

“He was attacking other Britons of the region, both the Gododdin whose capital was at Edinburgh, and the men of Rheged who lived around the Solway Firth.

“Because there are no battles recorded in Strathclyde, except for ones on its border by Douglas Water and around Beattock Summit, it is likely that he was a Strathclyder and defended Strathclyde against invasions by other Britons.’ “I know that my views will be controversial. But the people of Scotland can now feel proud to think that Arthur came from their land, that he fought his battles here, and that his bones are buried here, whether in Dumbarton or Govan or beyond.

“So famous was he as a champion in war that legends of him spread to the other Celtic peoples, and then to the whole world. Once we understand that, then we can see sixth-century Scotland in a completely new way, and events there as part of the Scottish Heroic Age.”